Finally had a chance and the motivation to head out to the practice field for some running dogwalk practice. This is my first ever try with the stride regulator that Rosanne recommended to me at the seminar last week. It worked a treat, he was 6/6 though the video only shows the first 3 reps because the battery died.
I didn't push my luck and remove the stride regulator this practice session because I have a trial this weekend and a snowstorm coming tomorrow so no other chances to practice and I wanted to end with success. I'm also debating whether or not to fade it at all. My training partner always puts stride regulators on the A-frame for her dog, the only time he doesn't see them is at a trial. He's got a beautiful running A-frame and in several years of competition I think has missed only 1. There's a certain logic to leaving it up all the time. For now I think I'm going to use it every practice until the mid-January USDAA trial and see how he does at the trial. Nothing to lose at this point really. If the behavior holds up in the ring I'll continue with it, if not I'll work on fading it. I'll probably test him without it once or twice at course run-throughs between now and the Jan. trial but I'm going to try to set up the regulator at most course run-throughs as well.
I'm not thrilled about using a prop but I'm out of things to try and preliminary results are promising so we'll see what happens with this experiment.
I put the A-frame up to USDAA height and he had a few misses so I'll have to work on that as well for the next few weeks. His A-frame was perfect at the seminar and it was USDAA height so no feedback for that. I think I just need to reward the successes and stop the sequences when he misses same as I've been doing. His A-frame is back to being very reliable so I'm not too worried about that.
Worked some teeters and weaves as well to sharpen him up a bit for the weekend. Also did some easy Ketschker work with jumps. I had a handling practice session with my training partner yesterday and Strum and I were struggling with the Ketschker, mostly with him refusing to take the jump so I worked with just one jump then 2 with me stationary with back to jump. It wasn't until I added motion and turned into him to get into position for the Ketschker that he started refusing again mostly because he was too focused on his toy. But we worked through it and he finally got it. Definitely not something I'm ready to use in a trial but I can see how useful it'll be once we get a handle on it. No good places for practicing blind crosses yesterday, we'll see if there's a good place to use one during the trial.